In today’s society, the pressure to look young and dynamic is a huge motivating factor in the drive to undergo anti-ageing cosmetic surgery procedures such as the facelift, as a recent investigation by the Nuffield Bioethics Council found.

A successful facelift should aim to make you look younger and more refreshed. In a 2012 study at the University of Toronto, researchers analysed before and after photos of cosmetic surgery patients to try and find a more precise reckoning of how many years you could lose if you underwent a facelift or eyelid surgery.

Images of 60 plastic surgery patients, between the ages of 45 to 72, were analysed in the study. In most cases, their real age in the before photos was correctly guessed and then the volunteers studied photos of the patients who had undergone either a facelift, neck lift, eyelid surgery, or a combination of procedures.

The first group, that had undergone a facelift and neck lift, were guessed to be 5.7 years younger. The second group, who had also had an eyelid lift at the same time, were seen to be 7.5 years younger and the last group that had undergone the most surgery, including a brow lift, were perceived to be 8.5 years younger than their actual age.

So, when it comes to facial rejuvenation surgery, the greater the investment, the bigger the return. But how do you protect that investment? A facelift can’t stop the ageing process entirely so here are our top five tips on how best to maintain your facelift results when the clock restarts:

# 1: Maintaining your facelift results: get serious about sun damage

It’s thought that sun damage is the cause of 90% of what is perceived as facial ageing, including lines and wrinkles, poor skin tone and discolouration. Protecting your skin at all times – even in the midst of winter – is probably the most important factor in maintaining your facelift results.

# 2: Maintaining your facelift results: protect your skin from the inside out

If you’re serious about looking your best after a facelift, then consider your diet. A healthy and well-balanced diet is always important, but recent research has flagged just how damaging sugar can be. Sugar triggers a chemical process known as glycation which produces sugar-bonded proteins. These proteins produce free radicals which deplete collagen and elastin levels in the skin. This causes skin to look less firm and increase the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

# 3: Maintaining your facelift results: give up smoking

Southampton plastic surgeon Mr Nigel Horlock always gives his facelift patients comprehensive aftercare advice that includes giving up smoking before and after surgery. Nicotine in cigarettes acts as a vasoconstrictor, in that it reduces blood flow and compromises the healing process among other risk factors, but even after you’re fully healed it’s important you don’t restart the habit as smoking will accelerate the ageing process.

# 4: Maintaining your facelift results: invest in skincare

As well as adopting good lifestyle habits, it’s important to invest some money in good skincare products. Cosmeceuticals or medical-grade skincare products contain active ingredients such as retinoids, antioxidants and peptides that can produce a radiant and clear complexion that is very anti-ageing.

# 5: Maintaining your facelift results: combine with aesthetic treatments

A facelift can lift, reposition and reshape facial tissues to produce a more youthful appearance, but there are certain things it can’t do. Dynamic wrinkles that typically appear in the upper third of the face can be treated with muscle relaxing injections that smooth the skin. Once you’re fully healed, skin rejuvenating treatments such as laser rejuvenation or chemical peels can greatly improve skin texture and tone.

To find out what facelift surgery can do for you, call us on 023 8076 49 69 to arrange a consultation.